If you are pregnant or hope to become pregnant soon, you likely have many questions about pregnancy, childbirth and the OB-GYN care we provide. Answers to many commonly asked questions are provided below – just click on a question to view the answer.
What can I expect at my OB-GYN visits during my pregnancy?
During your first prenatal visit, we will discuss your medical history, conduct a physical exam, order lab tests, calculate your due date and arrange your prenatal care plan. We will also provide a new OB packet that explains your pregnancy and your baby's development in depth, and you will be given the opportunity to watch an introductory video for more information.
Unless otherwise instructed, you can expect to make monthly visits throughout your first 28 weeks, then every 2-3 weeks until your 36th week, when you will need to be seen weekly for the remainder of your pregnancy. During each visit, we will evaluate your progress thoroughly.
Getting pregnant is harder than I expected. Should I consult Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists about it?
Yes. We can provide detailed information regarding fertility awareness methods, which involve attempting to conceive at your most fertile monthly stages. You may be experiencing infertility issues, and our OB-GYN physicians and certified nurse midwives can run some basic infertility tests to help determine why you have not been able to get pregnant. Common reasons to consider infertility testing include irregular menstrual cycles or ovulation periods, difficulty conceiving when birth control has not been used for at least one year (for women ages 20-35) or at least six months (for women over 35).
What is a certified nurse midwife, and what kind of obstetrical care do they provide for pregnant women?
Certified nurse midwives are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. In addition to gynecological services, our certified nurse midwives provide comprehensive obstetrical care, including prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care for women with low-risk pregnancies. Visit our page on Certified Nurse Midwives and read our FAQs to learn more.
What is the difference in OB care between a certified nurse midwife and an OB-GYN physician?
Simply put, the differences are minor – both are trained to provide high quality obstetrical care. Certified nurse midwives work with low-risk patients, while OB-GYN physicians see patients across all pregnancy risk levels. All our OB providers – certified nurse midwives and OB-GYN physicians alike – support patient involvement in the decision-making process when it comes to the birthing experience. Studies indicate that births attended by midwives generally have fewer interventions (such as continuous electronic fetal monitoring, epidurals, episiotomies, etc.) without impacting outcomes for women and their babies.
Is my pregnancy “low-risk” enough to consider a certified nurse midwife for my care?
We can help you determine at your first prenatal visit if midwifery care is appropriate for you. If midwifery care is deemed appropriate for your pregnancy and you choose a midwife for your provider, your certified nurse midwife will work to help you stay healthy and low risk throughout your pregnancy. If complications arise such as gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension, your certified nurse midwife will work collaboratively with our OB-GYN physicians to co-manage your prenatal care.
If I choose a certified nurse midwife for OB care during my pregnancy, can I deliver my baby at home?
No. For the safety of mother and baby, our certified nurse midwives deliver exclusively in the Family Birthing Center at LMH Health. When it’s time for you to have your baby, your certified nurse midwife from Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists will meet you at the hospital to guide and oversee your delivery, checking in frequently throughout your labor, and remain available after delivery to assist you and answer your questions.
If I choose a certified nurse midwife, can I still get an epidural during labor?
Absolutely. While certified nurse midwives are advocates for women who want natural childbirth or minimal intervention, they also encourage women to make their own informed choices. They fully support and serve women who prefer to have epidurals or other interventions (such as episiotomies, continuous electronic fetal monitoring) in their birthing plans.
What happens if I choose a certified nurse midwife, but end up needing a Cesarean (C-section) delivery?
For new and expectant moms, our certified nurse midwives provide personalized prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care for patients with low-risk pregnancies. They are trained and certified to treat pregnant women with common complications like gestational diabetes or hypertension as well. If complications arise that require a C-section during labor, an OB-GYN physician from our practice will perform the procedure, with the patient’s certified nurse midwife serving as a “first assist” to the physician.
Will my health insurance cover obstetrical care provided by a certified nurse midwife?
In most cases, if your insurance covers OB-GYN care by a physician, it will also cover nurse midwifery care. As an affiliate of LMH Health, Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists accepts most major insurance plans. Please check with your insurance company to determine coverage based on your policy.
What medications can I take during my pregnancy?
As a general rule, you should try to avoid or minimize medication during your pregnancy. However, certain drugs are considered safe, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications will usually indicate on the label if they are okay for pregnant women.
It is NOT considered safe to take any drug containing phenylephrine at any time during pregnancy. Products containing pseudophedrine are considered safe during the second and third trimesters, but some studies indicate risks associated with pseudophedrine use in the first trimester. Always check OTC medications for alcohol or aspirin and avoid any products that contain these ingredients as well. Medications should be taken as directed and for no longer than seven days.
If you are diabetic, check with your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife before taking any medications, even if the label indicates it’s safe for use during pregnancy.
View a list of OTC medications that are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
How much weight gain is normal during pregnancy?
Typically, pregnant women need around 300 more calories per day than women who are not pregnant. As always, the amount of weight you will gain is dependent on several factors including diet and exercise, but as a general rule, gaining 25-35 pounds is considered healthy and normal during pregnancy (more for twins and other multiples).
Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?
The primary concern about travel while pregnant is being away from your chosen OB-GYN provider and hospital or birthing center if any emergencies occur. Commercial air travel is not considered unsafe for women with healthy pregnancies, but changes in air pressure, oxygen levels and humidity can increase the risk of complications like clotting, dehydration and more. You should drink plenty of fluids, flex your leg muscles and walk the aisles occasionally to prevent problems. Repeated exposure to radiation at security points is another concern, so talk to your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife if you must fly frequently during your pregnancy.
Is it safe to swim or use hot tubs during pregnancy? What about tanning beds?
Swimming in cool or warm water is safe, and it’s considered a great way to get exercise during pregnancy. However, hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas and tanning beds are considered unsafe due to their extreme heat, which can cause your blood pressure to drop and your baby's heart rate to become irregular. Pregnant women should avoid temperatures above 100°F.
What causes "morning sickness," and how can I get relief from it it?
Hormonal surges and changes during pregnancy can cause nausea to occur at any point in the day, but it is often worse in the morning due to lower blood sugar levels. To relieve or prevent nausea and vomiting, get plenty of protein, fiber, rest, exercise and water. Avoid greasy, spicy, very sweet and strong-smelling foods. Although not all pregnant women experience it, nausea is not cause for concern unless severe—at which point, dehydration may occur. Contact your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife if you are experiencing persistent, severe nausea during your pregnancy.
What foods, drinks and dietary supplements should I avoid during pregnancy?
As always, a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of water is recommended. Avoid consuming too much mercury by limiting fish to two meals per week, and only low-mercury fish like salmon, tuna or catfish. Low levels of caffeine are okay, but you should avoid drinking too much coffee, caffeinated tea or soda. You should not drink alcohol or use tobacco products while pregnant. Unless otherwise instructed by your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife, do not take any dietary supplements other than your prenatal vitamins.
What kinds of problems should I report to my OB-GYN provider?
We are here to help you throughout your pregnancy, so contact us if you notice anything out of the ordinary, particularly if you experience any of the following:
- Vaginal bleeding at any time (the only exception being right after a pelvic exam, when slight bleeding is normal)
- Fluid trickling or flowing from the vagina
- Severe abdominal pain
- Decreased fetal movement
- Dizziness or blurred vision
- Severe, persistent headache that's not relieved with acetaminophen, food or rest
- Persistent vomiting for more than 24 hours
- Swelling in your hands and face
How soon can I find out if my baby is a boy or girl?
We can determine the baby's sex with confidence in the middle of the second trimester. Most patients typically have a sonogram around that time.
Can I continue to have sex during pregnancy, even in my third trimester?
Yes. Pregnant women can safely have sex through the ninth month, although women at high risk of preterm labor should consult their OB-GYN provider for additional guidelines.
How will I know when I'm in labor?
If your contractions come at regular intervals and steadily get stronger despite making changes in your movements and positions, you are likely in labor. No matter what, however, if you are experiencing pain and feel you might be in labor, you should contact us at 785-832-1424. If it is after office hours, your call will be directed to our on-call OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife.
We also offer a range of classes to help you prepare for childbirth and beyond. Visit our Pregnancy & Childbirth Classes and Events to lean more.
Where can I find more information about pregnancy and childbirth?
What can I expect after my baby is born?
The postpartum period lasts for six weeks after childbirth. During this time, your body will undergo many changes as it accommodates early motherhood while also returning to pre-pregnancy “normal.” Sometimes these changes can be challenging for new moms, so talk to your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife if you experience postpartum depression or other concerns. For your convenience, we provide all new moms with a postpartum patient guide, and additional information about postpartum support is available through your Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists provider and through LMH Health. As always, we also encourage you to ask questions and speak openly with your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife.
We also offer a range of classes and support groups for new parents. Visit our Parenting Classes and Events to learn more.
Will I need a postpartum exam even if I'm not experiencing any problems after delivery?
Yes. To make sure your body returns to normal naturally, postpartum visits are an important part of all pregnancy care plans at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists. We recommend an office visit at 1-2 weeks after childbirth (as directed by your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife), and then another routine postpartum exam at 6 weeks after your delivery. For C-sections, we will want to check your wound for proper healing about two weeks after surgery, then see you again four weeks later for the routine postpartum exam.